Friday Cats & Girl Tunes

By Amanda Marcotte
Friday, March 26, 2010 13:26 EDT
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Switching it up from the usual Friday Genius Ten, because a friend asked me to participate in a music mix exchange last week, and I thought I’d share what I came up with. The exchange was called “Girls Girls Girls”, and there were three rules: 1) every song in your mix had to have a woman’s name in the title 2) it had to be under 80 minutes and 3) no repeats of what someone else had on their list.

My personal rules for making mixes are 1) try to mix hits with more obscure stuff to keep ‘em guessing and 2) try to mix the old and the new, same reason. This is what I came up with. I’d love to hear in comments some of your favorite songs with women’s names in the titles. I also try to do what the main character in “High Fidelity” did, in terms of starting with a bang, though I can’t remember some of the other rules for mix tapes in that book.

1. “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” – The Ramones
2. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson
3. “Rory Rides Me Raw” – The Vaselines
4. “Shirley” – L7
5. “Valerie” – Mark Ronson (with Amy Winehouse)
6. “Tunic (Song for Kare)” – Sonic Youth
7. “Annette’s Got the Hits” – Golden Triangle
8. “Lady Marmalade” – Patti Labelle
9. “Veronica” – Elvis Costello
10. “Emmaretta” – Deep Purple
11. “Archie & Veronica” – Lovage
12. “Ana Ng” – They Might Be Giants
13. “Mary Millington” – The Disco Zombies
14. “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” – Cake
15. “Lola” – The Raincoats
16. “Help Me, Rhonda” – The Beach Boys
17. “Jolene” – Dolly Parton
18. “Jenny Take a Ride” – Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
19. “Justine” – The Righteous Brothers
20. “Marla” – Grizzly Bear

“Justine” was a late minute edition, put in after I heard two covers of it by two separate bands on the same night. Videos below the fold, as well as a special “same pose” cat picture.
If you know me well, you could guess the two songs I was absolutely going to put on this mix were going to be “Jolene” and of course this one, which could be my all-time favorite cover.

I don’t like Amy Winehouse. I’ll say this up front. I think she’s a pretender, and I think she’s only popular because of the Dap Kings and Mark Ronson supporting her. That said, this song that Ronson put on his own album with her is a real pick-me-up, and I like it even with the presence of Winehouse hamming it up. Maybe it’s because it goes too fast for her to indulge some of her more annoying habits.

I love this song probably out of proportion to how good it is. But it’s very, very good:

Another cover:

One of the parts of moving to NYC that’s new to us is the existence of radiators. We don’t have these in Texas. I have no idea why they’re better, or if they’re better, but we’ve been fascinated by them. (Particularly their usefulness when it comes to drying out clothes on a rack set next to them.) We’re not the only ones who’ve found them fascinating, though. The radiator in our bedroom especially heats up a spot on the floor, and the cats think this is the best thing that’s happened, short of sunbeams. (Luckily, as the radiator heat fades, they’re getting more sunbeams. Spring!) When the radiator is really going strong, there will pretty much always be at least one cat sleeping in the warm spot. I got both these pictures within an afternoon, if I recall correctly.

Molly in the warm spot

Dusty in the warm spot

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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